One of the greatest honors we got to experience at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards was presenting Black Sabbath legend Tony Iommi with the Courage Award for successfully battling cancer while entertaining fans around the world. Backstage at the awards, we got to speak with Iommi, whose doctor unfortunately predicts Tony’s lymphoma will return.

Iommi was diagnosed with cancer shortly after Black Sabbath announced their reunion on Nov. 11, 2011, but he never let the illness slow him down. Tony performed 167 shows with Sabbath before metal’s blueprinters called it a day, and Iommi recalled some of the highs and lows of the past few years.

“It’s always been hard traveling since I was diagnosed. I have to sort of be careful,” Iommi says. “There’s nothing I can knock about it. I love playing on the road, I love being in the band, I love playing to the fans, but it’s just the other side — you can only do what you can do.”

As for his health, Iommi is remaining hopeful yet realistic. “To me, it’s never going to go away, it’s always going to be there,” the guitarist reveals. “According to my oncologist, it’s probably going to come back. It’s hard to sort of go, ‘Oh, well that’s brilliant then.’ Every day is a winner, really. We’ll see. I hope it doesn’t come back, but you never know.”

Finally when we asked Tony about favorite riffs that he’s written, the legend struggled to pick out individual licks. However, he shouted out “Iron Man,” “Into the Void” and “Sweet Leaf” to close out the interview.

Check out our exclusive chat with Tony Iommi backstage at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards!